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Natural. Gentle. Vet Formulated. Premium Quality. Kind To The Environment.

Shy Tiger was created by Dr Nicole Rous, a Melbourne veterinarian and dog owner.  These all-natural plant-based products offer vet approved health support for dogs. ​​Loved by veterinarians, Shy Tiger has become a trusted source of natural alternatives to manage stress, skin and lifestyle needs for pet owners.​

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The Power Of Scent:
A Multimodal Approach To Reducing Patient Stress
In The Veterinary Clinic

The provision of veterinary care is an essential component of ensuring the good welfare of companion animals. However, a significant body of research has demonstrated that a considerable proportion of dogs and cats exhibit fear and stress during veterinary visits, which can also have negative consequences for their owners. Specifically, a survey of pet owners has shown that 28% of cat owners and 22% of dog owners would seek veterinary care more frequently if their pets experienced less stress during these visits [1].


The stress experienced by animals during veterinary visits can distort physiological measurements, impede physical examinations, and pose a risk to veterinary personnel, particularly in cases of aggression. This presents a significant challenge to veterinarians, who must balance the provision of important medical procedures, some of which may be painful, with consideration for the emotional well-being of their animal patients.


There has been a recent increase in awareness of how individual animals, and their owners, experience veterinary visits and how negative experiences can be counteracted. As such, a multimodal approach that incorporates various solutions is recommended to address this issue.


The power of scent


As soon as pet owners – and their animals - step into the veterinary clinic, their senses are immediately engaged. The sterile smell of disinfectant and the sound of barking dogs may be what initially catches their attention, but have you ever considered how the power of scent could impact their experience?


In a study in 2019, it was found that half of companion dogs experience some level of fear when receiving veterinary care, including one in seven dogs that show severe or extreme fear.[2]  One of the important factors influencing a dog’s experience at the veterinary clinic is the environmental set up of the clinic.  Using calming scents in both the reception area and the consult rooms can help reduce this stress and improve the overall experience for both pets and their owners.  Scents that are known to have calming properties, such as lavender and chamomile, can create a more relaxed environment for both animals and their owners. This can have a positive impact on the customer experience, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty.


Diffusing scents throughout a veterinary clinic can be safely achieved by using pure essential oil blends that are veterinary formulated in a diffuser.  Shy Tiger formulations can be used as part of a multimodal


Research has shown that scents can influence customers' perception of a business and their willingness to spend money.


What is “scent marketing” and how does it work?


Scent marketing is a technique that aims to create positive emotional responses in customers by using specific scents. The sense of smell is closely linked to memory and emotions, and scent marketing can therefore have a significant impact on customer behaviour. Creating an inviting and soothing environment is crucial to shaping an owner's experience during the inevitable frustration associated with wait times in the clinic environment.


Scent marketing may just be the missing piece in boosting client satisfaction and sales in your veterinary clinic.


There are several statistics that support the effectiveness of scent marketing in increasing sales and improving customer experience.


Studies have shown that scent marketing can increase sales and customer loyalty.

  • a study conducted in a bookstore found that customers spent 20% more time in the store when a simple scent was diffused and were more likely to make a purchase [3].

  • a study found that customers in a scented environment were willing to pay up to 10% more for products than those in an unscented environment [4].

  • in the hospitality industry, a study found that hotel guests rated their experience as more enjoyable when the hotel lobby was scented, with a 7.7% increase in overall ratings [5].

  • the same study found that guests were willing to pay an average of $10 more for a room when it was scented.


Influence of Essential Oil scents on dog behaviour


In a 2005 study of 55 dogs in a rescue shelter, the influence of specific scent stimulation on their behaviour was studied.[6]   The study used lavender, chamomile, rosemary and peppermint essential oils, and a control.  For 4 hours per day for 5 days, the dogs were exposed to the diffusion of each essential oil, with a 2 day wash out period between each scent, and their behaviour was observed.   


It was found that certain aspects of the dogs’ behaviour were influenced by scent: 

  • Lavender and chamomile - dogs spent more time resting and less time moving around.  The dogs were also less vocal.

  • Rosemary and peppermint – dogs were more active in standing, moving and vocalising.

Positive influence of Essential Oils on human wellbeing


Essential oils can have a positive effect on people in the clinic too!  Diffusing essential oils in the clinic environment can have a positive influence for

  • staff working in the vet clinic; and

  • pet owners visiting the clinic with their animals.


In a study in a hospital in Vienna in 2015, 55 staff members were given an essential oils roll-on consisting of 12 essential oils. The roll-on was applied at least 3 times a day for one month on the pulse zones on the wrists (7).


Essential oils used: Top notes of Pennyroyal and Orange.  Heart notes of Lavendin, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Marjoram, Neroli, Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang, Bitter Orange and Petit Grain. Base note of Vetiver.


On the first day, the participants’ stress rating on a scale from 1 (no stress) to 10 (very high stress) was on average 6.28.   After one month of using the essential oils preparation, the participants’ stress rating reduced to 5.24.


In terms of physical impairment due to stress, analysis found a statistically significant beneficial effect of aromatherapy among nursing staff and in persons older than 50 years of age.   (p = 0.012 and 0.025, respectively).   Participants’ stress levels due to physical, psychological, and social stress over the month showed marked, and partly significant, positive changes after the use of essential oils.


Thus, this study found that the majority of the study participants were able to markedly reduce their stress associated impairment by the use of essential oils.  No allergic reactions or incompatibilities were observed.

How Shy Tiger can help


By using scents that are pleasing to both humans and animals throughout the veterinary clinic, a more relaxing and enjoyable environment can be created for customers and their animals.


Shy Tiger offers a safe, natural solution to help establish a tranquil and aromatic ambiance in veterinary clinics.   Shy Tiger’s diffuser products are veterinarian-formulated essential oil blends that are optimised for a water-based diffuser. These blends incorporate lavender, ylang ylang, and Roman chamomile, which possess anxiolytic properties to soothe your animal’s emotional state throughout the day. Most importantly, these veterinary formulated blends are specially formulated for use on or around dogs.


If your clinic would like advice on how to implement scent marketing into their environmental modification, we can help!

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  1. Riemer S, Heritier C, Windschnurer I, Pratsch L, Arhant C, Affenzeller N 2021, “A Review on Mitigating Fear and Aggression in Dogs and Cats in a Veterinary Setting”, Animals, vol. 11, no.1, pp 158

  2. Edwards PT, Hazel SJ, Browne M, Serpell JA, McArthur ML & Smith BP 2019, “Investigating risk factors that predict a dog’s fear during veterinary consultations”, PLoS ONE, vol. 14, no. 7, e0215416.

  3. Brumfield, C. Russell, Goldney, James, & Gunning, Stephanie. 2008, "Whiff!: The Revolution of Scent Communication in the Information Age". iUniverse.

  4. Gulas CS & Bloch, PH 1995, "Right under our noses: Ambient scent and consumer responses", Journal of Business and Psychology, vol. 10, no. 1, pp 87-98.

  5. Fiore AM, Yah X & Yoh E 2010, "Effects of a pleasant ambient fragrance on simulated driving and overall ratings of quality of the environment", International Journal of Hospitality Management, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 559-562

  6. Graham L, Wells DL & Hepper PG 2005, “The influence of olfactory stimulation on the behaviour of dogs housed in a rescue shelter”, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, vol. 91, no. 1–2, pp 143-153.

  7. Steflitsch W, Steiner D, Peinhaupt W, Riedler B, Smuc M, & Diewald G 2015, "Gesundheitsförderung durch Stress- und Burnout-Prophylaxe mit ätherischen Ölen für alle Berufsgruppen im Wiener Otto-Wagner-Spital [Health Promotion through Prevention of Stress and Burnout with Essential Oils for All Professionals at the Otto Wagner Spital in Vienna]", Forsch Komplementmed, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 185-94. German. doi: 10.1159/000433619. Epub 2015 Jun 18.


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